Previous post highlights past opioid marketing in the United States. Current post shares Associated Press post-fentanyl update from Estonia plus October 2023 Politico report

Click here for previous posts about opioids >

A previous post (Sept. 2, 2019) is entitled:

Crooked (2017) – investigative report on American back pain industry – underlines that theory of mind-body split has had its day

An excerpt reads:

A study by the investigative journalist Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, entitled: Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery (2017), focuses on the author’s own encounters with the American back pain industry:

After exploring, in Part One, dead ends and disasters including wholesale back surgeries of years ago (highly profitable for surgeons) that in many cases did not provide long-term relief for patients and noting death, destruction, and ruination occasioned by opioids, formerly heavily – and skilfully – marketed by Big Pharma.

In Part Two, the author outlines how she finally finds her own solutions to back pain.

October 22, 2023 Politico article

An October 22, 2023 Politico article is entitled: “The opioid crisis has gotten much, much worse despite Congress’ efforts to stop it: Lawmakers missed the deadline to renew a law supporting treatment and recovery.”

An excerpt reads:

American Society of Addiction Medicine President Brian Hurley thinks Congress should permit access to methadone, which like buprenorphine is used to help people achieve and maintain recovery, by allowing pharmacies to dispense it. That, he said, would mark “bolder change in light of the worst overdose crisis in American history.”

Currently, methadone is strictly controlled by the DEA and only available at specialized clinics because it, too, is an addictive opioid that can cause fatal overdoses.

Some lawmakers are on board, but some physicians licensed to prescribe it are opposed, warning it could lead to more deaths from methadone overdose.

That’s a shame, public health advocates said. In their view, Congress should take some risks, considering the magnitude of the crisis.

Associated Press post-fentanyl update (March 26, 2020) about Estonia

A March 26, 2020 Associated Press article is entitled: “Estonia won its war on fentanyl, then things got worse.”

An excerpt reads:

Once fentanyl landed in Estonia, heroin disappeared. Even after poppies started growing again in Afghanistan and Estonian police choked off fentanyl supply in 2017, heroin didn’t come back. Instead, users turned to cocktails of other kinds of synthetic drugs, including amphetamines, alpha-PVP, a dangerous stimulant also known as flakka, and prescription drugs, harm reduction workers, users, public health officials and police told The Associated Press.

There are signs that the U.S. is on a similar path, tipping from plant-based drugs like heroin to synthetic ones like fentanyl and methamphetamine. That could herald big changes in global narcotics supply chains and cement the role of China — an important source of illicit synthetic drugs — as a vital link in the worldwide drug trafficking business.

“The trajectory is toward full synthetics,” said Daniel Ciccarone, a professor at University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, who researched heroin and opioid supply chains under a federally-funded study. “Name the major drug producers in world – Afghanistan, Colombia — only people in the know would say China. Well, guess what? China.”

Fentanyls are easier to make and smuggle than heroin, and far more profitable to sell. One kilogram of fentanyl bought in China for $3,000 to $5,000 can generate over $1.5 million, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Fentanyl is also at least 30 times more potent, which can make it hard for users to return to heroin after getting used to the punch of synthetics.

Safe supply of drugs in B.C.

I fully support the following initiative. It makes perfect sense to me.

A March 26, 2020 CBC article is entitled: “B.C. releases plan to provide safe supply of drugs during COVID-19 pandemic. Substance users will be able to access virtual prescriptions and home delivery of safe drugs.”

An excerpt reads:

Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry expressed her support for the move, saying it would ensure that people are “able to comply with our public health advice around isolation or quarantine.”

According to Henry, the drugs people receive will be based on their needs. She said regulated pharmaceutical alternatives, such as hydromorphone, will be provided to opioid dependents. Alcohol and cannabis will also be made available.

Henry said the substances will be distributed by practitioners working in the area in partnership with pharmacists.

The Drug Wars in America (1940-1973)

Click here for previous posts regarding Drug Wars >

Among previous posts at latter list is one entitled:

The Drug Wars in America, 1940-1973 (Kathleen J. Frydl, 2013)

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